Articles of Faith: Are You a Spiritual Leader?

When we look at spiritual leaders we find that they impact their organizations with their vision and values. Below are a few signs that help us recognize that an organization is led by a spiritual leader.

The Humble Leader

The leadership style of an organization directed by a spiritual leader would be collegial government in which a leader discovers his or her true self in the group or community with which he or she works.

This requires the humility to realize a leader does not have all the answers, and the awareness that genuine organizational direction percolates up to the leader from followers.

On Mission and Values

The organization is led by mission and values not by organizational goals and objectives. It is shared mission, values, and vision that enthuse and motivate the organization.

However, these underlying core values and sense of shared destiny develop, and yes change, with the input and experiences of all members.

Mission, values, and vision do not tell us about the organization’s origins, but how it sees itself today and tomorrow.

Collaborative Environment

In this kind of an organization with collegiality as the governmental model the administration is collaborative at all levels in the structure.

Collaboration takes place on three different levels:

  • intellectual
  • organizational
  • personal

It includes an appreciation of how each person contributes to the common goals of the organization.

In this kind of organization decisions are made at the lowest level in the structure. This commitment to subsidiarity pushes authority down and refuses to allow gifted members to remain empty and feel less valued while decision-making is reserved to executives who do not need to be involved.

These organizations are self-generating, healing, and liberating.

Self-Managed Teams

A spiritual leader’s organization channels effectiveness and achievement to self-managed teams in which members are self-directed.

This is the foundational experience of the organization’s purpose and effectiveness.

The organization’s identity is strong here or nowhere. Team members inspire each other, motivate each other, and foster mutual growth. Members of self-managed teams develop new behaviors and new ways of thinking that percolates up and influences the whole structure.

Such an organization gives importance to building community and welcomes everyone as important contributors both to work and to community life. In a healthy organization, relationships contribute to each one’s health and self-esteem; and, highlight the human values of compassion, empathy, love, and friendship.

Such an organization fosters community through its own rituals, stories, symbols, and celebrations.

This kind of organization manifests special appreciation for its workers. This not only in matters of work environment, salary, benefits, and morale; but,  also in fostering a mindset of consultation, listening, getting feedback, and a commitment to diversity.

Culture of Openness

Every organization moved by inner values develops a culture of openness and trust. Communication is very important and channels of communication are carefully maintained. This approach includes open records whenever possible, including financial documents, executives’ salaries and benefits, trustee actions, and so on.

This free flow of information generates trust and a sense of belonging.

A spiritual leader fosters in his or her organization a dedication to ongoing education. This starts in the hiring process. Then, leaders continue it in carefully planned training, and it is maintained through the freedom to learn and experiment.

Both with products or services and with internal organizational life.

Ongoing Education

This dedication to ongoing education includes:

  • meaningful dialogue 
  • sharing of ideas
  • questioning assumptions 
  • debating company strategies

Spiritual leaders need to create organizations that extend and prolong their values. Such commitment will include some of the values indicated here.

So, are you the type of person who puts their trust in their teams like a spiritual leader? Do you operate on faith that the people working for you and the organization can meet and exceed expectations? Or are you the type of leader that feels “command and control” is the only real way of getting things done. I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an author and workshop presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
Email | LinkedIn | Web | Blog

Edited by Scott Leathers

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One response to “Articles of Faith: Are You a Spiritual Leader?

  1. Leonard, I love this statement: “Mission, values, and vision do not tell us about the organization’s origins, but how it sees itself today and tomorrow.” This is the story unfolding and the power of individual and collective consciousness as it does unfold. Thank you, Jeff


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